Soft start for Pukke

Pukke will begin their SA Club Champs title defence against invited Limpopo side Noordelikes on 20 September.

The draw for the 2009 tournament has been announced with each of the 16-teams seeded according to the performances of the 14 provincial representatives at the previous year’s tournament. The two clubs invited annually to take part are automatically seeded 15th and 16th.

This year, the Leopards and KwaZulu-Natal are seeded first and second respectively because Pukke and College Rovers contested the 2008 final (which Pukke won 17-12).

Only Pukke, College Rovers and Buffalo played in the 2008 tournament, while the only Varsity Cup sides who managed to qualify are Pukke and Shimlas.

The only province yet to confirm its entrant is Eastern Province. That will be decided on Saturday when the Grand Challenge final is contested between Port Elizabeth teams Park and SAPS.

SA Rugby has also announced that the final will be played at Loftus Versfeld on 26 September as a curtain-raiser to the Currie Cup match between the Blue Bulls and Cheetahs.